Mountain Pose: Yoga Unchained Facilitation Series

Mountain Pose: Yoga Unchained Facilitation Series


– Hi, I’m Jessica Sowers,
owner of Body Bliss Connection. – I’m Jamie Marich, I’m a
clinical trauma specialist, expressive arts therapist, author, and co-founder of Yoga Unchained. – I’m also the co-founder
of Yoga Unchained. Mountain Pose, tadasana. We’ll begin by ensuring that
our toes are pointed forward. Your feet can be about hip distance apart. Find that comfortable stance
with the width of the legs. Let’s begin by lifting the
toes up off the ground, kind of wiggling them back and forth. And then pressing down into
the mound under your big toe, the mounds under your
little toes, and your heel. As you press actively
down towards the ground, feel the quads, or the
thighs start to engage and become active. Next we guide our
awareness into our abdomen, as we start to pull the abdomen inward, helping to lengthen the
spine nice and tall. Melt the shoulders away from the ears, by gentle squeeze together and slide them down towards the earth. Palms of the hands rotate forward, as your finger tips actively
press down towards the ground. Imagine that strand of
pearls coming out of the top of the head as it guide the
crown of the head taller, lengthening through the neck. And ever so slightly we tuck the chin in. Very strong and active posture, the muscles are engaged. As we inhale and exhale deeply. Jamie, how did that posture make you feel? – Mountain Pose is one of my favorite’s. It always makes me feel very grounded, very present, very affirmed. I always feel like I have
a positive affirmation like I am strong or I am powerful come up in my head when I do that. – Good. – So what are some of the challenges you have seen people
have with Mountain Pose in some of your experience. – A couple of the challenges
in Mountain Pose are the locking out of the knees. So we want to ensure that
people have soft knees, not necessarily bent but soft. Also, the shoulder blades can be an issue. We tend to like to have our
shoulders attached to our ears so we want to engage and pull them down, but we also don’t want to over engage by squeezing the shoulder
blades too firmly together. We want just a gentle engagement with the fingertips
rotating and reaching down. – So how does this pose make you feel? – This pose is really good for me. It makes me feel very
connected and grounded. It gives me a good
connection to the earth. It helps me to find my balance and it kind of makes me
feel like I’m really here. It gives me that point of
belonging to this earth. – And that’s one of the
reasons I find a lot of clinical usefulness with this pose working with clients
individually or in groups. Really it is a way to essentially
teach standing meditation, what it is like to be mindful here, now, and present in the standing form which can serve you in places like… Let’s say you’re standing
in line at a store and you’re getting very impatient and your head is wandering. This can teach that kind
of healthy self-awareness. I’m here. Maybe working with attitudes
like patients or non striving. I mentioned health assertiveness which is let’s say you’re at a difficult family function or you’re at court or something like that. Just coming into this essentially more mindfully engaged posture can help with that sense of inner confidence. I mean it can. It’s certainly worth a try. Something I really liked about
the way you instructed it with the modification
is make sure the feet and the legs are hips distance apart, especially for larger body types I think that’s really important. ‘Cause I’ve been in classes before where the teachers have instructed like keep the feet together. I think that creates knee lock. – It can. – For many people and
for larger body types, you get I think better effect of the pose if you are with a little bit
more wider hips and yeah, I just like how you… So any other modifications
or teaching points we need to keep in mind? – Yes, a couple of things. Again, you want to make
sure about the knee locking. You want to have soft knees. But a modification that
you can also utilize for someone that may not be able to stand for long periods of time is a chair. Have them sit into the
chair, their backs off of the back of the chair so that they keep the length through the spine. They can connect down
through their sitz bones which helps to give them grounding, but also to connect down through the feet. And if the legs are a
little short like mine, then I also roll up a
blanket or put blocks under so that I bring the earth to my feet so I can find that
groundedness through that. – Books work really nicely
or I was recently doing a training where there were some old VHS tapes hanging
around the training room which worked as they don’t really have a lot of use anymore, but
they work nice as blocks. It’s interesting you
mentioned the sitz bones because even though
they’re obviously engaged when you’re in the seated version, you could even be mindful of
them when you’re standing. – Yes. – Now let’s talk about
the wall modification that some people may like. – Wall modification’s good for those who may have some balance issues or standing can be a challenge for them. So you want to be mindful
where the feet are placed and you want to ensure
that the heels aren’t up flat against the wall
but out an inch or two so that the rest of the body’s just gently supported by that wall. And you can find all of those same points of connection and length
through the spine, but take some of the balance effort out of this posture by utilizing the wall. – And I really feel that
sitz bones engagement here. And yeah, you mentioned
balance or also people who may struggle with standing
for longer periods of time. This can still give you
some benefits of the pose in a way that’s hopefully
more accessible to you. – Yeah. – So, Mountain Pose everybody. – Thank you. (upbeat music)